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December 14, 2012
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Are two tests for English necessary under the common core?
    English language arts standards under Common Core State Standards call for testing that is free of bias and stereotypes, creating potential conflicts when addressing literature and historical materials, writes Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University. At issue, he writes in this opinion article, are problems of testing and a reluctance to eliminate some types of text from the classroom. He suggests the development of two tests: one that evaluates general reading skills independent of the common core and the other that tests literary historical knowledge. Bloomberg (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to use TED Talks to create a lesson for deeper learning
    Middle-grades educator Heather Wolpert-Gawron in this blog post describes a project she has created to provide deeper, differentiated learning for students involving communication skills. As part of the project, aligned to the Common Core State Standards focus on argument, Wolpert-Gawron uses TED Talks speeches to help students become content experts on various subjects. Then they each choose a particular subject to advocate for -- eventually coming to a consensus as part of a group -- and use tools, such as websites and podcasts, to communicate their ideas. Wolpert-Gawron's blog (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
New from Harvard Education Press
Instructional Rounds in Action is an invaluable guide for those involved in implementing instructional rounds as the foundation and framework for school improvement. "The first strong contribution to applied instructional rounds that I have seen."Michael Fullan Look Inside the Book.
  School Leadership 
  • Geese offer insight into effective school teams
    Before her school teams begin working together, transformational leadership coach Elena Aguilar often gives them an article entitled, "Lessons we learned from geese." The lessons include supporting their teammates when they are struggling, offering encouragement and taking turns to perform the hard tasks. The behavior of geese also demonstrates the value in sharing a common direction and sense of community, Aguilar writes. Aguilar's blog (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • How to speak the language of education technology
    Education technology has a language all its own and there are terms teachers and administrators should know. In this article, writer Corey Murray shares 24 education-technology terms that should be known by all teachers and administrators. Among the terms are one-to-one learning, adaptive learning, blended learning and differentiated learning, in which technology is used to match students' individual learning styles. EdTech magazine (12/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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  Managing Budgets 
  • Will K-12 funding increase as states recover?
    While some states are predicting increased revenue, officials say the additional funding may not reach K-12 education. There also is disagreement over just how rosy the financial picture is, with some saying that many states have rebounded to pre-recession levels. "It is still true that people don't want to reinflate what they had," said Paul Hill, founder of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • N.Y. considers revised diploma alternative for some students
    The New York Board of Regents is considering replacing its current diploma alternative certificate for students with disabilities with a Career Skills Credential that emphasizes job readiness. State education officials argue that the certificate, which does not count as a diploma, will help students better plan for their future. However, disability advocates argue that the diploma alternative decreases academic rigor for students with disabilities. Times Union (Albany, N.Y.) (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ohio school districts could be issued letter grades
    The Ohio State Senate has approved legislation that would give school districts letter grades based on 15 measures of performance. The overhaul in how schools are evaluated would alter the current grading system for schools, which issues rankings from "Excellent with Distinction" to "Academic Emergency." The legislation is expected to be approved by the House, and Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign the bill. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Faculty Lounge 
  • All Internet access is not created equal
    In this blog post, technology teacher Mary Beth Hertz writes that a recent push for universal Internet access is not sufficient for bridging the digital divide. She writes about the limitations of accessing the Internet using mobile devices and suggests that the focus should be on ensuring that students not only have access to the Internet but sufficient tools. One solution, she writes, is for schools to beef up technology courses and integrate technology education throughout the curriculum. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Demystify test taking for your students with What Every Middle School Teacher Needs to Know About Reading Tests. Get activities for mastering test items across all of the commonly assessed reading standards, and see how to save time by integrating strategies with everyday instruction. Read Chapter 1: Helping Students Build a Test Vocabulary.

Wise teachers assign reading responses that are interesting, relevant, and encourage further reading. Ban the Book Report presents 20 classroom-tested assignments for personal response to independent reading, each with a reproducible rubric, response form, and two exemplars. Preview the entire book online!

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  ASCD News 
  • The Common Core Standards: Starting now
    Educators can take advantage of free and low-cost resources to start implementing the new standards, note literacy experts David Liben and Meredith Liben. In their December/January Educational Leadership article, the Libens point to a wealth of resources that support implementation of English language arts and literacy standards. Readers will access tips on how to familiarize themselves with the standards, find resources organized by area of focus, and gain access to projects that bring together multiple elements of the standards. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Webinar -- Implementing the Common Core: ASCD's recommendations
    Policymakers and educators, take a closer look at ASCD's "Fulfilling the Promise of the Common Core State Standards: Moving from Adoption to Implementation to Sustainability" report. During an hour-long webinar, starting at 3 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 18, ASCD staff will walk you through the resource, which illuminates activities that can help successfully implement the new standards. Attendees will walk away with a high-level understanding of key report recommendations and observations. Register. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today's work superbly well."
--William Osler,
Canadian physician

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